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100 artists including Alfie Templeman pull out of The Great Escape festival over sponsor Barclays’ alleged funding of the Israeli military

“My morals cannot and will not align with the amalgamation of entertainment and human suffering,” Templeman says.

Alfie Templeman

Image: Mariano Regidor / Getty Images

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Alfie Templeman is the latest artist to drop out of The Great Escape 2024 as part of a boycott against event sponsor Barclays’ alleged funding of the Israeli military.

The producer and singer-songwriter announced Tuesday (14 May) on his social media accounts: “I am no longer performing at The Great Escape festival this year due to their ongoing partnership with Barclays, who are actively funding the Israeli military and therefore being complicit in genocide.”

“My morals cannot and will not align with the amalgamation of entertainment and human suffering,” Templeman continued.

“Solidarity to everyone else on the lineup that has dropped out and used their platform to direct attention to the boycott. I really hope that together our absence from the festival will make other festivals and events around the world prioritise being ethical when choosing their partners.”

Aside from Templeman, over 100 acts have withdrawn from this year’s festival – due to be held at various venues across Brighton from 15-18 May – in a show of solidarity for Palestine. The latest names to cancel their upcoming appearances include Avije, Beetlebug, Bo Milli, BODUR, Bug Teeth, C Turtle, Cryalot, Delilah Bon, Delilah Holliday, Graft, Hang Linton, Jianbo, Kerensa, Lewis G Burton, Message From The Ravens, Pem, Pop Vulture, Projector, Smoke Filled Room, Sophia Ryalls, Steven Bamidele, Sunday Club, The Halfway Kid and Tony Njoku.

Last month, artists including Massive Attack, Idles and Brian Eno signed an open letter urging the event to drop Barclays as a partner. The British bank’s alleged investment in companies that supply arms to Israel has been a major source of controversy amid the ongoing Israel-Gaza conflict.

According to Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), Barclays “holds over £2 billion in shares and provides £6.1 billion in loans and underwriting to nine companies whose weapons, components and military technology are being used by Israel in its attacks on Palestinians”. It continues: “This includes investing £100 million in General Dynamics, which produces the gun systems that arm the fighter jets used by Israel to bombard Gaza.”

A statement released by Massive Attack said: “It’s extraordinary to think that in 2024 promoters and festivals still don’t understand that as artists, our music is for sale but our humanity and morality is not.”

“The truth is, while the boycott of events sponsored by toxic corporations like Barclays is courageous, the motives behind it are totally uncontroversial: everyone can see what’s happening in Gaza and no one should accept it.”

“Whether it’s apartheid and genocide in Gaza, or the funding of new fossil fuel extraction worldwide, Barclays has repeatedly proven it is without conscience. Barclays therefore has no place in any music festival or any cultural event. Solidarity with and total respect to all musicians who’ve taken this stand.”

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